Unbound authors have been busy. The latest Season One alumnus to launch a book is Kentucky native Jacinda Townsend, who read an excerpt from “Saint Monkey,” her debut novel, on the show last year. “Saint Monkey,” which follows the friendship between two African American girls growing up in Eastern Kentucky after the Korean War to their futures in Harlem and at home, was published by W.W. Norton in February and just received an enthusiastic review by the New York Times. Townsend will be at Carmichael’s Bookstore on Frankfort Avenue Friday at 7 p.m. to read from and sign copies of “Saint Monkey.” Listen to her excerpt from the Unbound episode.
More good news:
Matt Bell’s debut novel “In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods” (Soho Press) caught fire last summer. Ploughshares called it a “gorgeous, bottomless book” and NPR’s Michael Schaub says the book “contains passages far scarier than most mainstream horror novels, but Bell writes with a warmth, a humanity that renders the scenes gut-wrenching on an emotional level.” (That’s just a sample of the rave reviews Bell’s book earned.)
Publisher’s Weekly compares the style of Tessa Mellas’ new short story collection “Lungs Full of Noise” to that of Aimee Bender and Karen Russell, two authors whose work definitely share a kinship with Mellas’ strange and beautiful characters. “Lungs Full of Noise” won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize and features the full version of “Bibi from Jupiter,” Mellas’ Unbound story.
YA fantasy author Gwenda Bond’s second book “The Woken Gods” (Strange Chemistry Books) was published last fall, featuring an action-seeking young heroine who, you know, no big deal, ends up saving the world from vengeful ancient gods. As you do. Here’s a review from TOR. Bond just revealed the cover art for her third novel, “Girl on a Wire,” which is due out from Skyscape in October.
Kyle Minor’s second story collection “Praying Drunk” (Sarabande Books) lit up the lit world this spring, landing on nearly every “most anticipated” list before its publication, securing a spot on The Rumpus Book Club and a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. Bookslut says “this book is difficult, and so this book gets at things that are true” and the LA Times declares that “to read ‘Praying Drunk’ is to open yourself up to the type of rumination that some might be afraid of: namely, how can anyone have faith when humans do so much to distort godliness?”
And Frank Bill (“Crimes in Southern Indiana,” “Donnybrook”) is branching out from literary noir fiction to write for the comic book franchise “The Crow.” The new series, “The Crow: Pestilence,” features a Juarez, Mexico-based professional boxer who makes a deal to take a dive and runs with the money instead, then ends up dead. Read the interview in Comic Book Resources.